how do I phrase waitlist letter of intent? Can I just be direct and honest?

patel2

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i want to write a loi to a school i was waitlisted at (top choice). Can I be overt and not mince words, syaing "X school is my top choice. If accepted, I guarantee 100% that I will attend and will withdraw from other schools," while going to explain why I believe I would be a good fit at X school and noting the things that it has to offer that other schools don't. Or does one need to be more subtle, as I have gotten mixed advice reading boards on here.
 
Jul 17, 2010
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i want to write a loi to a school i was waitlisted at (top choice). Can I be overt and not mince words, syaing "X school is my top choice. If accepted, I guarantee 100% that I will attend and will withdraw from other schools," while going to explain why I believe I would be a good fit at X school and noting the things that it has to offer that other schools don't. Or does one need to be more subtle, as I have gotten mixed advice reading boards on here.
I would not be so direct. It seems desperate, and I think it would rub the school the wrong way. Unfortunately as well, really, really wanting to go somewhere is not a factor in admission.

You applied, so the school knows you are interested. The way to show you are really interested is not to tell them so. That's just words, and they don't have any reason to believe you. You have to show them you are interested. You have to prove that you know a lot about the school and their mission, then you have to prove (using specific examples, activities, etc) that you fit the school's mission.

Schools look for applicants that fit their mission. And they have the luxury of being selective. You have to prove to them you belong. You can't just say it.
 

juliedi

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I would not be so direct. It seems desperate, and I think it would rub the school the wrong way. Unfortunately as well, really, really wanting to go somewhere is not a factor in admission.

You applied, so the school knows you are interested. The way to show you are really interested is not to tell them so. That's just words, and they don't have any reason to believe you. You have to show them you are interested. You have to prove that you know a lot about the school and their mission, then you have to prove (using specific examples, activities, etc) that you fit the school's mission.

Schools look for applicants that fit their mission. And they have the luxury of being selective. You have to prove to them you belong. You can't just say it.
I don't think the bolded is necessarily true. I interviewed at a school that pretty much told us straight up that they want people who want to attend their school, so if applicants don't express a strong genuine interest, they won't accept them.

I do agree that you should show the school your interest, however. Anyone can just write "I want to go here," but if you can give specific reasons that this is the school for you and why you fit in, then you will be taken much more strongly into consideration.
 

gettheleadout

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I agree with Juliedi; I don't think you can say that letters of intent are 100% useless, Barcu.
 

paul411

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Although strong interest in wanting to go to a particular school might not help in a Letter of Intent, I'm sure that an interviewer who recognizes genuine interest in a candidate will recommend him/her to the adcom more enthusiastically.
 
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I don't think the bolded is necessarily true. I interviewed at a school that pretty much told us straight up that they want people who want to attend their school, so if applicants don't express a strong genuine interest, they won't accept them.

I do agree that you should show the school your interest, however. Anyone can just write "I want to go here," but if you can give specific reasons that this is the school for you and why you fit in, then you will be taken much more strongly into consideration.
I agree with Juliedi; I don't think you can say that letters of intent are 100% useless, Barcu.
Sorry. I guess I wasn't very clear. I don't think letters of intent are useless. And I know many schools only want people who have a strong, genuine interest in the school.

I was addressing the part when the OP asked if he should say "this is my top choice, and I will 100% go here if accepted" or something along those lines. That, I think, is coming on a bit strong and will get you no where. They don't have any reason to believe you.

A good letter of intent should SHOW the school you have genuine interest, not just telling them so (and now I sound like my HS english teacher, "show don't tell"). Prove through your own activities and experiences that you belong at that school.
 
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TTigers70

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Has anyone ever shot off a "this is my top choice and I will 100% attend if accepted" kind of letter to a long shot school? I would be curious if it would particularly discourage schools as much as some others have said. I have been the interviewer in a couple situations (interviewing potential RAs for example) and although some candidates may have been less qualified for a position they were able to make up for it with intensity and genuine interest. I also got tons of BS interest from people who wanted a position just because it was free housing and a pretty decent stipend. Moral of the story, people who had a good way to back up their interest and were aggressive in their pursuit made good candidates in my eyes. I don't know why "desperate-ness" would play into the decision if all other things are considered equal. As a top school, I would want to see some urgency or "desperate-ness" out of applicants with legitimate, substantive interest.
 
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I think you should definitely "show and not tell", since that conveys a genuine desire to attend. The more specific your details (maybe include stuff from your interview day) the better off you will be.

That said, I still think you should definitely say that you WILL attend 100% if accepted. The reason I say that is the adcoms might think its a Letter of Interest and not a Letter of Intent, which obviously doesn't hold as much weight.